A week after stepping off the plane and into the new role of managing director of Tech Pacific Australia, Kerry Baillie has revoked the $33 minimum order fee for purchases under $250.
The minimum order fee has been a thorn in the side for Tech Pacific ever since it was introduced in May last year. Four months ago, the minimum order to avoid incurring the fee was reduced from $1000 to $250. The fee itself was reduced to $22 for orders placed via Tech Pacific's TechLink site. However the fee continued to draw ire from resellers across the country.
Baillie last week admitted the fee policy was a mistake that has harmed the company's relationship with resellers and resulted in a loss of business.
"It was a mistaken policy that has cost us a lot, so now it's gone," Baillie said.
"I don't know how much business we've lost or how much we will regain as a result of these changes. [The policy] has caused a certain sense of betrayal among resellers and we will have to give them a reason to come back to us," he said.
Admitting the fee was introduced as an administrative reaction to last year's market woes, Baillie, who previously headed Tech Pac's Singapore operation, said the policy was not in line with the distributor's other operations.
"Tech Pacific operates in several countries under similar conditions, but no other operation has those charges in place," Baillie said. "Of course, there is a cost associated with everything we do, but I think it's unfair to expect we can recover all of them from the reseller. "Tech Pacific has also revoked restocking fees - the charges associated with returning products - but claims it will re-invoke such fees should the level of returns requested exceed agreed levels.
Aware of the fact that many resellers have established new relationships, Baillie has taken his message directly to resellers, spending most of last week meeting with customers.
"What we need to do is show that in terms of our relationship with resellers, last year was an aberration," Baillie said. "We've done an excellent job over the years and we now have to get back to dealing with people the way we used to."
As part of the "revamp", Baillie said Tech Pac will place a lot more emphasis on quality of service, regardless of the volume of business resellers bring to the company.
Baillie has made his goal very clear - to take Tech Pacific back to the top of the game.
"[Mistakes] can even happen to the Australian cricket team - they got beaten [recently] by South Africa, but they're champions nevertheless."